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The rockets that terrorists from Gaza fire into Israel have killed and maimed many Israelis.

For instance, between 2006 and 2011, 44 Israelis were killed and 1,687 injured by Gaza rockets. These figures include many children, as terrorists often fire rockets when Israeli children are walking to school. More than one million Israelis live in range of rocket attack from Gaza.

What do Israel’s critics have to say about this?

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow describes the rockets thusly: “pretty pathetic things – nobody gets injured”. The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah complained only yesterday about Israelis “whining about rockets”. Other opponents of Israel have dismissed the rockets as mere “fireworks”, and sneered that their only effect is to unsettle the pets of a handful of Israeli families.

Cousins Dorit Benisian and Yuval Abebeh are among those who have been killed by these rockets. Dorit was two years old and Yuval was four. Osher Twito (pictured) was eight years old when he lost a leg in a rocket attack.

Rockets: pretty pathetic things – nobody gets injured.

16 Responses to “'Whining' about 'pathetic' rockets”

  1. Simon says:


    Just because the terrorist are not for the most part very good at doing what they are trying to do, that makes it OK does it?

    It doesn’t matter that they are firing hundreds of rockets into civilian areas of a nation, so long as they are shit rockets and don’t kill anybody. But if they got some decent ones, then maybe Israel would have cause for concern.

    It’s not an act of war or terrorism if it fails, is that it?

    Just like nobody in the UK minded when the IRA blew stuff up without killing people.

  2. cityca says:

    Thanks Chas.
    It’s vital that people realise just what the menace of rockets does to Israelis – if it’s not the physical trauma, it’s the psychological effect.

    We spent a day in Sderot a couple of years ago. You cannot walk 100 yards without seeing a bomb shelter – every bus stop has a shelter next to it. There is a playground built in an old warehouse that has hardened shelters inside it, so kids can have birthdays parties in safety.

    Because the rockets are often fired while kids are walking to or being bussed to school, the terror that is induced sometimes means that small kids mess themselves and have to be collected by their parents from school.

    Years ago, I heard Jon Snow dismiss the missiles on Channel 4 News. I wrote to him, inviting him to camp for a week with his family in Sderot. You’ll not be surprised to learn I didn’t get a reply.

  3. Joe O`lOughlin says:

    That sadly,is the sort of remark one would expect from C4 and Snow in particular.Both biased and ignorant.

  4. liamalpha says:

    Unfortunately, the comments by Snow and Abunimah highlight the effectiveness of the Qassam rockets as a terrorist weapon. By inflicting property damages, disrupting and denying normal life routine, and presenting a real risk of death or injury, it achieves its primary goal, which is to seed terror in civilian population. On the other hand relatively low casualties, gives Hamas some confidence that Israel will not retaliate in full force, while whatever reaction it does take draws attention to the reaction and not its cause. Finally, if the rockets are noticed for what they are, there will be found enough useful idiots like Snow to shrug them off as mere nuisance, and even justify them as the “weak man’s weapon”.
    Needless to say, no country other than Israel would be expected to stand a steady barrage of rockets and mortar shell (however crude) on its citizens.
    This vicious circle must be broken, but how?

  5. SF says:

    Throughout history when Jews are murdered there is someone who will deny that it happened.

    Why does Jon Snow say this about rockets? Is her ignorant of the facts, is he trying to cover them up, or does he mean that Israeli people count as ‘nobody’?

  6. Sharona says:

    Did John Snow reall say that? is he for REAL??? I would like him to spend a week in Sderut or there about, see if he will maintain his crul and unsensitive comment!

    • Chas Newkey-Burden says:

      Yes he said that on-air in 2006.

      To be clear: the statement was already untrue then, many Israelis had already been injured and killed at that stage, including the two toddlers I cited above.

      Jon Snow refuses, with his trademark mid-life crisis arrogance, to acknowledge or correct his error.

  7. suztours says:

    I don’t believe Jon Snow (or any of the hate-Israel-media types are “ignorant” (meaning, they simply don’t know or don’t understand). I believe they DO know and by writing as they do, they join the ever-increasing band of hate-Israel media in the war against Israel.

    By belittling the effect of the missiles (and by the way, even those of us who live elsewhere in Israel, as I do in Jerusalem are psychologically affected by them), when Israel does retaliate, it makes us look like the evil bad guy pouncing on the poor good people of Gaza. THAT sort of idea shows up in headlines on CNN, BBC, Channel 4, etc. as “Israel bombs targets in Gaza” – without giving any reason why, until a lower paragraph that MOST people will never read.

    I and many of my friends here believe that the ONLY way to make it stop is to also stop with the IAF targeting but instead to DISCONNECT Gaza from electricity, water, telephone & Internet, all of which they get from Israel! MAYBE that will cause the so-called “innocent” people (who, I believe, are complicit in these attacks simply by their silence) to finally rise up against HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and others involved in launching rockets, missiles and mortars against Israel.

  8. Yuval says:

    I would like to add that the enormous amount of effort and money by Israeli governments has had a big role in lowering the number of casualties… if there weren’t shelters and “Iron Dome” batteries and pursuits after terrorists by the IDF from the ground and the air (as limited as those pursuits are thanks to awful diplomacy) they could have used those “pathetic things” to carry out larger scale military attacks against Israel.

  9. Ric says:

    Even if there had been no casualties, what Gaza is doing to Israel is the equivalent of a mock execution, firing a blank-loaded gun at a prisoner. It’s the old antisemitic story, Chas. ‘Le chien est un mechant animal – quand on l’attaque, il se defend’. They will never forgive Israel for being able to defend itself and not rolling over to accept martyrdom like a proper ghetto Jew.

    • Lynne T says:

      …or a form of collective punishment meted out largely on Jews who fled Morocco and other “Arab” lands. We won’t kill you, we’ll just make your daily life hell.

    • Bhavin says:

      Harry, thank you for those facts, it’s good to see someone putitng out more than the media does. A few questions for you, if I may.- why do we never hear from Palestinians about Hamas hiding rockets and equipment in schools/mosques?- why do we never hear about the phone calls or warnings?- that’s a lot of rockets to fire over during a truce, we never heard about that, are there articles on them?Thanks!I’ll take a look at the Safari issue, I just noticed something with the firefox version too, so I’ll get them fixed right now and release a new version of the theme.Richard

  10. ehoop says:

    Honest Reporting and Camera already do a well-researched job of taking news media to task over false reporting. Their work is media (as opposed to journalist) focused. Apologies, when received, seem a little grudging. But CifWatch evidently provokes an emotional response from some of the Guardian’s audience, judging by references in their posts. To me, the key differences are its focus but also the fact that Guardian journos / editors are repeatedly named and shamed. If false or biased reporting and comment by the world’s Sherwoods, Snows and Bowens can reasonably be blamed for helping to create a climate in which terrorists are cheered on rather than discouraged and their victims misrepresented or ignored, then why not show them up for what they are by taking them to task objectively, repeatedly, by name and in one place?

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